Area Stewards Program
The heart of Blue Ridge PRISM is the Area Stewards program. Area Stewards are simply neighbors working together to manage invasive plants. The cooperation between neighbors creates islands of invasive-free land that reduces the risk of reinfestation. As more neighbors join the effort, the amount of invasive-free land expands, and the health of the forest improves.
We began 2015 with one landowner in each of Albemarle, Greene, and Rappahannock initiating the Area Stewards program. Two new areas were added in 2016, one in Albemarle and one in Nelson. We look forward to additional involvement of additional neighboring properties to each of these stewardship locations.
Blue Ridge PRISM supports the Area Stewards through advice, training, and resources. If you are just getting started, we can provide suggestions on how to talk to your neighbors and offer an introductory presentation to interested groups.
Area Stewards can be a group of farms, a small community, or simply neighbors working together in your homeowners association. If you would like to learn more about how to get started, please contact Blue Ridge PRISM at email@example.com.
The Duke Hollow Stewardship Area
The goal of the Duke Hollow (DH) PRISM site (Clarke County) is to create a demonstration project showing that a few people can manage invasive plants on a scale of several hundred acres. The commitment of the landowners to continue monitoring the forest and avoid weed resurgence has been crucial to the success of the project. Positive feedback from witnessing the forest become an inviting place to walk again has been a major incentive driving the work forward.
Snow Mountain Stewardship Area
Snow Mountain is in Greene County Virginia and removing invasives involved neighbors working alongside each other. It remains an ongoing task to manage the 600 acres.
The Dutch Creek Area Stewardship
The core landowners in the Dutch Creek Area Stewardship in Nelson County own approximately 1,275 acres of contiguous, mostly forested land in a scenic, mountainous area of Virginia that has intrinsic natural resource value. The stewardship area itself is further protected by being encompassed within the 3,000-acre Dutch Creek Agricultural-Forestal District (DCAFD).